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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2007

Senator Charles Laster
Senator Charles Laster

Senate Committee Okays Bill Banning Sale of Cough Medicine/Spray Paint to Minors

The Senate Business and Labor Committee on Monday gave approval to a bill that would ban the sale of cough medicine containing dextromethorphan (DXM) as well as spray paint to anyone under the age of 18. State Sen. Charlie Laster is author of Senate Bill 951.

“The recommendations in this bill come directly from the Task Force on Adolescent Substance Abuse and Misuse of Household Items. We found out how Oklahoma kids are able to buy large quantities of these items to get high with no legal restrictions,” said Laster, D-Shawnee. “This is a dangerous problem we need to address.”

At high doses, dextromethorphan acts as a powerful hallucinogen. Nationally in 2004, there were an estimated 12,584 emergency room visits because of products with DXM. In this state, the Oklahoma Poison Control Center reports that DXM abuse is on the rise. In 2006, 14.7 percent of all reported intentional substance abuse cases in Oklahoma were DXM, compared to 11.6 percent in 2005.
Inhalant use, such as spray paint, is also up among Oklahoma youth. In 2003, 9.9 percent of youths grades 9-12 reported using inhalants, compared to 12 percent in 2005.

“If SB 951 becomes law, it would be a misdemeanor to sell those products to any one under 18,” Laster said. “In addition, the legislation makes it illegal for anyone to sell or provide unfinished DXM to anyone other than a purchaser licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

The legislation would also require those possessing or selling unfinished DXM, which is used in manufacturing, to register with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

“Our number one goal is to keep Oklahoma children safe, and that means making sure our laws are updated to address these new threats to their very lives,” Laster said. “That means we have to redefine what we consider to be dangerous drugs—that’s what my legislation does.”

SB 951 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

For more information contact:
Senator Laster's Office - (405) 521-5539

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